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Transmission Tue Jan 04 2011

Interview: Light Pollution plays with Japandroids New Years Day

For the second day in a row, Brian King and David Prowse of Japandroids played Schubas Tavern to a New Years Day crowd that mainly consisted of post new years eve celebrants looking for some post-angst rock. Joining Japandroids for the New Years day night hijinks was the Chicago anthemic synth-rock band Light Pollution. They took the stage promptly at 10:00 p.m. and began playing to an already full room.

Light Pollutions' James Cicero and Matt Evert, the long-haired, bearded friends, were joined by guitarist Nick Sherman and newcomer, bassist Justin Park. Perhaps a nod to the sentiment of the night, the band began the set with "Sleepwalker," new material that will potentially go on their still unnamed forthcoming album. Interspersed through the set were fan favorites and critic approved "Oh Ivory" and "Good Feelings." In between songs, Cicero warmed up the crowd for the "super cool dudes" from Japandroids and removed a grey sweater to reveal a white Hawaii shirt that looked like it had seen extensive touring. After playing through "Bad Vibes" off of Apparitions, Cicero took tambourine in hand and finished the set with new song "Wild World," a mournful, yet redeeming tune.

After finishing their set, Light Pollution quickly packed away their instruments and made their way to Schubas' green room. Cicero, Evert and Sherman sat on a long couch with their backs to a concrete wall furnished with the concert posters of acts passed. Bassist Justin Park paced back and forth, chowing down and pita bread and hummus that Schubas had provided.


"Can you smoke down here" Cicero asked.

"No, it's Chicago," Sherman replied.

As iPhones were being set down on a small coffee table in the green room, Cicero mentioned that his phone was stolen by hipster crack-heads in Vancouver, or more affectionately, the 'couve.

"They're everywhere — hipster crackheads," Cicero said.

At that point, David from Japandroids walked into the green room and pulled a few beers from the cooler that Schubas provided. Immediately after, King also entered the room looking like he just emerged from a rain storm.

"Dude, you look all sweaty, and you haven't even played yet," Sherman said to King.

"You know what happens, nowadays, I always wet my hair down before we start playing because what happens, is that my hair dries and gets super curly and out of control, and my hair is literally in my mouth."

"Why don't you shave your hair," Sherman jests.

"Well, it wouldn't look as spectacular when I was thrashing about," King said like you would expect a true Canadian from the 'couve to say about.

After a few more minutes of friendly back-and-forth between King of Japandroids and the members of Light Pollution, King realized that they an interview was taking place and excused himself with a last few words for the rising Chicago band, "Choose your words wisely. The internet never forgets."

Since being signed with Carpark Records, the band has been able to focus on touring and playing a lot more shows. Cicero had at one point spent up to 25 hours a week e-mailing blogs and labels just to promote the band. Being signed to the label "made a big difference." Light Pollution is the label's first Midwestern band as well.

Many newly formed bands may think that the only way to make it in the world is to head to Brooklyn, New York. But in the grand scope of things, "it doesn't matter. It matters what music you make," Cicero said. Granted, "there is a little bonus if you do it in Brooklyn. They say if you make it there, you make it everywhere. But with the internet, it doesn't really matter."

Though they were signed onto a Washington D.C. Label, Light Pollution still considers themselves a Chicago band. "We played D.C. a bunch, but it's not a special connection for us. We're still a Chicago band." Speaking about the Chicago music scene further, Light Pollution described it as a "weird situation." Living in Pilsen, Cicero stipulated that scenes are usually organized by neighborhood.

"Everything is very separated. It keeps changing," said Sherman.

"It'd be better if there was a sense of community, but it's not happening with us here in Chicago," Cicero said.

The band has friends all over the country, and as demonstrated by being signed to D.C. Label Carpark Records, it doesn't matter where you are, because of the internet.

Early on, the band's album, "Apparitions," met sharp criticism. When reminded of the early reviews, Cicero and Sherman acknowledged the ratings, but said that " it wasn't a big deal, because you make the record you want to make, and that's it." Cicero knows the early flaws of the album and said that the band had moved to change some things, but overall thought that bands shouldn't worry about reviews too much. He then pointed to an example where a band, "Aerial Pink," was once berated but then later extolled by the same music site.

After the interview, Light Pollution headed upstairs to see Japandroids rock out to a packed house of mostly male fans. They lifted their cups of beer particularly high as they sang along to the band's stand-out song "Young Hearts Spark Fire," singing "we're too drunk to feel it" until the night's end.


Web hosting india / January 5, 2011 2:04 AM

Nice post n really i like it.n i agree with that description n hopefully i think people like it...

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Lollapalooza Wed Jul 30 2014

How to Make the Most of Your Lollapalooza Weekend

By Transmission Staff

It's not enough to just say you're going to three days of music in Grant Park, you really have to plan your attack. After years of Lollapalooza experience, here's our fresh takes on how to best rock the fest.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Wed Jul 30 2014
Oneida & CAVE @ Empty Bottle

Wed Jul 30 2014
Nelarusky ft. Twin Shadow @ Metro

Thu Jul 31 2014
Spin's Lollapalooza Kick Off Party w/Interpol, Gemini Club & Wildcat! Wildcat!

Thu Jul 31 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Thu Jul 31 2014
School of Rock Allstars @ Beat Kitchen

Fri Aug 1 2014
Kodaline & Split Single @ Schubas

Fri Aug 1 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Fri Aug 1 2014

Sat Aug 2 2014
White Denim @ Empty Bottle

Sat Aug 2 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Sat Aug 2 2014
Matthew Sweet @ Space

Sat Aug 2 2014

Sun Aug 3 2014
Neon Marshmallow @ Burlington

Sun Aug 3 2014
Great Midwest Uke Fest @ Chief O'Neill's

Sun Aug 3 2014

Mon Aug 4 2014
Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips @ Downtown Sound

Featured Series


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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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